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Fees For Leaming Materials And Activities Guideline Draft for discussion purposes ‘Objectives and Definition: Every. student is entitled to benefit from the education system in Ontario.without the payment of ‘ees for learning materials, supplies, activities or textbooks to successfully complete a course leading to graduation®, The basic costs of materials and activities for elementary and secondary education are provided fo schools by the Province through the funds governed by the Grants for Student Needs and should be reflected in school board operating budgets. In general, there should be no fees charged for regular day school programs. This guideline does not apply to tuition fees for visa students, international students, first nations students who are living on reserve, of continuing education students. it does not address fees for early learning programs offered outside the regular school day or other before or after schoo! programs. When schools or school boards choose with the support of the school community to offer enhanced or specialized programming, parents may be asked to contribute resources in the way of time, money or materials to support these programs or activities. While no student should be excluded from participating in any school activity or event based on the ability to pay, ‘some activities or events may require some recovery of the cost for participation. Fees may be appropriate in cases where school boards or schools choose to offer enhancements or supplementary learning materials beyond the core curriculum. This guideline serves as an aid to help school boards determine fee eligiblity, effectively administer fees and be accountable to the school community Where fees are appropriate, they should be minimized as much as possible, with the goal of full student participation in programs and activities regardless of individual economic circumstances ‘The objectives of this guideline are to + Identify guiding principles and best practices; * Provide a foundation for school boards to develop or review existing guidelines, policies and procedures with respect to any fees charged to students in the regular day school program; and + Provide examples of appropriate and inappropriate practices. When schools and boards choose to charge any fee, itis important to + Have guidelines to help ensure that fee charges are consistent with the purposes and principles of public education, ‘+ Seek advice from schoo! staff, parent involvement committees, school councils, students and the schoo! community: ‘+ Include a goal of full student participation in schoo! programs and activities regardless of individual economic circumstances; and * Support and protect staff and volunteers through practices that promote accountability for the handling and management of the proceeds raised from these activities * Om all legal questions refating tothe subjects covered inthis guideline, boards should rey on the advice oftheir own legal counsel. This guideline should not be interpreted ss expressing any opinion that a board may charge a fee. Any student who i qualified to be a esigent pupll ofthe board is enttied to attend a regular day schoo! pregram, without payment of @ fee Ministry of Education Draft Foes Guideline Page 1 of 5 Fees For Learning Materials And Activities Guideline Draft for discussion purposes Definitions Student Activity Fees Student Activity fees are voluntary amounts that are used to enhance a student's schoo! experience through materials and activities such as student agendas, student recognition programs, yearbooks, extracurricular activities, school dances, theme days or other schoo! council activities. f students are able to pay but choose not to, they may not have access to these additional activities or materials. Enhanced Programming Enhanced Programming represents an enrichment or upgrade to the curriculum or co-curricular’ activities. For example, in some performance and production courses (for example, music, woodworking), students may wish to use a superior product or consumable than that provided by the schoo}, in which case they may be asked to pay the additional cost of that upgrade. Similarly, schools may offer voluntary field trips or excursions as curriculum enhancements, Where students choose not to access the enhanced programming, an alternative must be available as essential course materials are to be provided at no cost to students for any regular course leading to graduation Specialized Programming Specialized Programming is optional courses or activites that students normally choose to attend through an application process, with the knowledge that these programs are beyond the core curriculum. Examples include International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and Hockey Canada Skils Academy programs. Outline This guideline addresses the following four topics: |. Guiding Principles — identifies some key principles to guide school board fees policies N. Fee Charges — outlines criteria and examples of eligible and ineligible activities to inform a board's fee policy Ml, Best Practices — provides best practices for school boards to consider when developing or Updating fee policies for learning materials and activities WV. Accountability to the School Community- outlines best practices for a board's policy to meet the public's expectations and uphold the public's trust With the support of the schoo! community, schools and school boards may wish to provide programming and materials beyond the basic school experience to students. For these enhancements, it may be appropriate to collect a fee to offset the additional costs. The development of a distinct board-wide student fee policy will ensure consistency and transparency in the application of fees and should reflect the following principles: * For the purposes of his guideline, co-curcular activities or materials are defined as related tothe regular day ‘school program, Extra-curicular activites are defined as outside the regular day school program. Ministry of Education Dratt Fees Guideline Page 2 of 5 Fees For Learning Materials And Activities Guideline Draft for discussion purposes Cofnplemintary to Public Education ‘* The purposes for which funds are collected are consistent with the school board's mission and values ‘+ Fee proceeds are used to enhance student experiences, options and resources. ‘+ Fees raised for schoo! purposes are to complement, and not replace, public funding for education. Inclusive Education + Each student should have an equal opportunity to benefit from the education system without being required to pay a fee. Students must be able to participate in school activities and access resources regardless of personal financial barriers. + Fees for course materials and learning activities are appropriate only for enhanced or specialized programming, materials or activities. + All school boards should adress financial hardship in their fees policy, + School principals should ensure the dignity of every student and parent is honoured in the school fee collection process, develap collection methods that afford reasonable expectations of privacy for students and parents, and develop and communicate clearly a practice for discreet identification of students/parents who may be experiencing financial hardship. Accountability & Transparenc; + Boards should have a separate and distinct policy, that directly addresses student fees. {or learning materials and activities. The policy should be publicly available on the school board's website + Financial reporting practices to the school community must be in place. Fee Charges ‘School boards should develop strategies to recognize and reduce barriers to participation and work to effectively include all students in programs and activities. Successful completion of a required course leading to graduation cannot be dependent on the payment of any course fee. When determining whether fee charges may be appropriate, the following criteria may be considered. A fee charge may be permissible for an activity, material, course or program if itis: + Not part of the regular day school program; ‘+ Voluntary, and alternatives are offered ‘+ Non-essential, supplementary or extracurricular in nature and is not required for

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